Things to Know About Shipping A Canoe or a Kayak

a year ago
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Have you ever found yourself needing to ship a canoe or a kayak?  Well, if you are a nature enthusiast who loves to express their enthusiasm on the lazy river or white water rapids, you probably have.  This is because you can’t check a canoe or a kayak onto your flight to the Grand Canyon or the Midwest. 

You can, however, have it shipped, which brings to mind what kind of packaging supplies you would need for that kind of job.  I mean, that’s the first thing you thought of, right?  “What kind of packaging supplies am I going to need to ship my canoe and/or kayak?”  Well, it should be, because there are several elements that come into play for shipping such an item, and protecting it should be at the very top of the list.

First of all, you aren’t going to be able to ship your item via parcel post.  Even if it manages to squeak by the size and shape requirements, you are going to get hit with some kind of premium.  Some LTL shippers might even charge you a premium due to the fragility of the item versus it’s size.  Also, industry freight requires that items of a high size but lower density be charged higher rates because, essentially, space is being taken up that could be used more efficiently.    

So what do you do?

Find an LTL shipper that specializes in shipping items like canoes and kayaks.  They would be called “professional” (and I’m not being facetious, I’m being for real).  Only, the professional companies would call this type of item “hard to handle”.  Whomever you choose, make sure they have insurance, and I would even recommend securing your own third party insurance on your item.


  • Take pictures of your canoe or kayak completely, high-resolution photos, before packing it up.
  • The oars can be stored inside of the vessel, but there shouldn’t be any other loose items, like life jackets.  One of the first items on your list of packaging supplies should be bubble wrap.  You are going to need a lot of it!  Wrap up the oars securely with bubble wrap and packaging tape before storing them in the bottom of the vessel.
  • Remove any pieces or parts that extend off of the canoe or kayak and ship them separately in packaging boxes that are clearly labeled.
  • Wrap the entire vessel in bubble wrap, securing with the tape, and then clearly label the final destination of the item.